SEVILLE, Spain – Despite economic challenges in Europe that have caused rivals to reduce output targets, Hyundai aims to set a new vehicle production record at its 3-year-old plant in Nosovice, Czech Republic.
After making 250,000 cars at the plant in 2011, the automaker is aiming even higher this year. It has expanded installed capacity to more than 300,000 units and added a third shift.
"This year, Nosovice will have an output of 45,000 units of the ix20, more than 90,000 units of the ix35 and almost 110,000 units of the i30 specifically for Europe with the remainder sold in neighboring markets," Hyundai Europe Chief Operating Officer Allan Rushforth told Automotive News Europe on the sidelines of the press launch here for the new i30.
By comparison, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Toyota said Friday that they would cut the workweek to four days and reduce the number of shifts to two from three as of May at their joint venture plant in Kolin, Czech Republic, due to weak demand in Europe. The partners aim to make 221,000 units of the Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1 minicars in 2012, about a 20 percent less than last year.
Hyundai has strengthened its product portfolio with the addition of the i40 last year and will launch the second-generation i30 starting this month.
"In 2012, we plan to set more records. We are targeting a European new-car market share of 3.5 percent from 2.9 percent in 2011," Rushforth said.
He declined to give a precise sales target because of Europe's economic volatility.
"It's difficult to accurately predict sales volumes – so we concentrate on market share," Rushforth said. "It's the best way to assess performance against our peers."